Ways to Work Out on an Island Vacation


Although the idea of exercising while on vacation may seem ironic, it is exactly what many people choose to do. You will not likely progress towards your fitness or weight loss goals on vacation but working out can keep you from sliding backwards. If you belong to a gym with worldwide affiliates, you can stick with your usual routine. Island vacations, however, take a little creativity to get your exercise minutes in.

Hotel Fitness Centers

If your hotel is large enough or part of an international chain, it may very well have a well-equipped fitness center on site. Some luxury hotels include exercise equipment such as free weights and resistance bands in each room. Some chain hotels with an island presence such as the Westin Resorts on Grand Cayman and Guam include 24-hour fitness rooms so you can workout on your regular schedule. Don’t forget to research the best preworkouts and to drink plenty of water if you’re going full tilt especially after a long flight.

Exercise on the Beach

Because you’re on an island paradise, you may choose to forgo your traditional workout in favor of something more island-y. Jogging or running on the beach is a great choice. There is little chance you’ll get lost if you set a timer to run 30 minutes one direction and then turn around and run 30 minutes back. Watching the sun rise (or set) over the water as you jog, may make you forget you are even exercising.

Yoga on the beach is very popular, and it’s fairly easy to find a class while on vacation. Some companies even provide mats or towels as they cater to tourists. If you’re vacationing in the Hawaiian Islands, for example, there are numerous classes to choose from on the islands of Hawaii, Maui and Oahu, many of them specializing in yoga at sunset.

Water Sports

It’s a no-brainer to get your exercise from swimming while you’re on an island. You could potentially burn over 300 calories for 30 minutes of swimming. If you’re uncomfortable swimming in the actual ocean, most island resorts have beautiful swimming pools where you can get your laps in before heading to the beach for more water fun like snorkeling.

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Many people choose island vacations specifically for underwater sightseeing. Snorkeling is a great 2-for-1 activity plus exercise that is available in most island locations. Indonesia, for example, boasts some of the best snorkeling on earth including the coral-rich Raja Ampat. It may not feel like a workout as you float along admiring the otherworldly plants and brightly colored fish, but you will be getting one. Your glutes, hamstrings and quads propel you through the water and keep you from drifting away in the current.

Horseback Riding

Horseback riding is a rather unconventional way to get your workout in, but it still counts. The Island of Bali has several stables that offer riding on the beach. You can enjoy a gorgeous sunset, work your adductor muscles and burn about 200 calories – enough to earn your glass of arak or cincau.


One great form of exercise that nearly everyone can do is walking. Purposefully choose a hotel that is about a mile away from any shopping or sightseeing you want to do (other than going to the beach, of course) and plan to walk there and back rather than renting a scooter or taking a taxi. The Caribbean Islands boast some extraordinary markets that are worth the visit even if you had planned to do nothing but relax on the beach. In Kingston, Jamaica, you can listen to reggae music while you stroll through the large outdoor market. In Nassau, Bahamas, you can divide your time between the luxury shops and the souvenir shops in front of them. If you’re walking, you’re exercising.

Nobody wants to go on vacation and then obsess about exercising. If you’re worried about falling off your routine, build in a few physical activities to counteract your down time. A little exercise each day will keep you from sliding backwards in your fitness goals.


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